Destinations, Events

Warm Up to Volcano Boarding this Winter

January 24, 2014 by

Volcano Surfer

Looking for something different to do on vacation and a place to escape the cold winter? Volcano boarding, or volcano surfing as some call it, has been around for almost a decade and is an extreme sport growing more popular in Western Nicaragua.

Volcano Surfing

What Is Volcano Boarding?

Volcano boarding is much like snowboarding. Your feet are strapped to a retrofitted snowboard, but instead of boarding along snow or ice, volcano surfers fly down mountains of ash with hot wind blowing their hair. Others sit on a toboggan-like board and stay seated as they careen along the side of the volcano.

Volcano surfing requires hiking about an hour to the lip of the crater of the volcano Cerro Negro. Part of the thrill for many is that while this volcano is not currently spewing hot lava, it is clear the volcano is still active. In fact, it is the youngest and most active volcano in the hemisphere with more than 20 eruptions since 1850.

Volcano surfing

Only for the Fit

This is a sport for those who are fit. The steep 45-minute climb to the top is physically demanding. The ride down is the reward for the effort but doesn’t last nearly as long.

While it isn’t as fast as boarding across snow because the board bogs down in the ash, the dust that kicks up behind the board gives the illusion of great speed. However, people using sit-down boards have been clocked at speeds up to 57 mph.

How It Started

The Australian snowboarder and “duneboarder” by the name of Darryn Webb has been credited with developing volcano surfing. He saw the potential of translating his skills and tells about testing boogie boards, mattresses and even a small fridge looking for the right board to surf the 2,388-foot high Cerro Negro volcano. He finally settled on plywood boards reinforced with metal and now you can do the same.

Photo credits: unmillondeelefantes

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2 Comments so far

  1. Penny W. says:

    Well, why not? If folks climb a mountain “because it is there”, they’re going to surf down the volcano for the same reason!

  2. Daniel says:

    well for be clear about the volcano boarding before the australian snowboarder he didn’t started the volcano boarding it was a local guide who start the activity, when the australian came to nicaragua other tourist companies already were offerting the activitie, by the way this guy was the founder of bigfoot hostal witch is famous by local as the most racist place in leon

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